Ask The Biologist

The Early Bird

The Early Bird

By Bob Humphrey

Be on the lookout for deer sign while you're in the turkey woods this spring.

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, are there things I can watch for that will help me in deer season, or will the sign be meaningless by the fall? – Tom J.

ANSWER: Any time you're in the woods, there's a chance you can find helpful deer sign, no matter what season it is. Both rubs and scrapes are often traditional, used in successive seasons. One rub might not mean much, but if you can find a rub line, or a large tree that looks like it has been rubbed for several years, you might be on to something.

Deer will, on occasion, even make scrapes in the spring. While there's no research to back it, my contention is that it has something to do with hours of daylight being roughly the same as during the fall rut — and the same reason turkeys sometimes gobble in the fall. You have to be able to distinguish a scrape from fresh turkey scratchings, which will be far more numerous, but if it has an overhanging branch, it might be worth noting.

Shed antlers are a prize in and of themselves, but will also give you an idea which bucks made it through winter.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd